Melting Pot

The Dum Pukht festival at Pashtun proves why the restaurant continues to top the popularity charts.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published: October 6, 2013 12:41 am

The weather taking a pleasant turn and the rains refusing to bid goodbye makes it the perfect reason to reach out for something hot and steaming from the kitchen. It also makes the Dum Pukht festival,on at Pashtun in Sector 35,well-timed. An annual event on the restaurant’s roster,the showcase this year proves why one of the city’s oldest ethnic Indian restaurants remains a recommended diner.

The consistency in the quality of dishes never fails to surprise. While biryanis are always the mainstay of this festival,each year sees owner and chef Sanjiv Verma add to the existing menu. This time around,Keema Matar and Khumb Chana Paneer are the show-stealers.

Prepared in earthen handis — the dough seal is delightfully cut open on the table — the aroma is what wafts in first. “Unlike other cuisines,less spices are used in Dum Pukht. Spices have to be fresh,as herbs play a critical role in the cuisine,” said Verma,adding,“There are two main aspects to this style of cooking — bhunao and dum — or roasting and maturing of a prepared dish. The process of slow roasting gently releases maximum flavour of each ingredient,and the sealing of the lid ensures that the food is cooked in its juices.”

The menu is short and to the point,but a good balance of meats and greens. Kewara Ki Subz Biryani,Badami Paneer and Gobhi Kali Mirchwali are the veggie options. We highly recommend Gosht Biryani and Khumb Chana Paneer. The latter,though an odd combination,is a winning one. If there’s any reason to crib,it’s the size of the handi. It needs to go from “small” to “large”.The festival is on till October 15

*Meal for two: Rs 1,000 (including taxes)

Location: Pashtun,SCO 333,Sector 35,Chandigarh

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